Sunday Moments

January 17, 2021

All the baptized have a calling in God’s world. God calls not just pastors and deacons but all people. The story of the calling of Nathanael plays with the idea of place. Nathanael initially dismisses Jesus because he comes from Nazareth. But where we come from isn’t important; it’s where—or rather whom—we come to. Jesus refers to Jacob, who had a vision in a place he called “the house of God, and . . . the gate of heaven” (Gen. 28:17). Jesus says he himself is the place where Nathanael will meet God.

Prelude
Here I Am, Lord

(Shutte/Hayes)
Choir & Orchestra of St Lillian

Confession and Forgiveness

Let us confess our sin,
trusting in the abundant grace of God.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Holy God,
you search us and know us.
You are acquainted with all our ways.
We confess that our hearts
are burdened by sin—
our own sins
and the broken systems that bind us.
We turn inward, failing to follow
your outward way of love.
We distrust those who are not like us.
We exploit the earth and its resources
and fail to consider generations to come.
Forgive us, gracious God,
for all we have done and left undone.
Even before the words are on our tongues,
you know them;
receive them in your divine mercy.
Amen.


How vast is God’s grace!
Through the power
and promise of Christ Jesus,
our sins are washed away
and we are claimed
as God’s own beloved.
Indeed, we are forgiven.
In the wake of God’s forgiveness,
we are called
to be the beloved community
living out Christ’s justice
and the Spirit’s reconciling peace.
Amen.

Gathering Song
10,000 Reasons
(Bless the Lord)

Words & Music: Jonas Myrin & Matt Redman,
worshiptogether.com songs,
CCLI 383771


Greeting

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit
be with us all.
Amen.

Prayer of the Day

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
most merciful redeemer,
for the countless blessings
and benefits you give.
May we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day praising you,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18

LORD, you have searched me out;
. O LORD, you have known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
. you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places
. and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,
. but you, O LORD, know it altogether.
You encompass me, behind and before,
. and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
. it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
For you yourself created my inmost parts;
. you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will thank you because I am marvelously made;
. your works are wonderful, and I know it well.
My body was not hidden from you,
. while I was being made in secret
and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
. all of them were written in your book;
. my days were fashioned before they came to be.
How deep I find your thoughts, O God!
. How great is the sum of them!
If I were to count them,
they would be more in number than the sand;
. to count them all, my life span would need to |be like yours.

Gospel
John 1: 43-51

In John’s gospel, Jesus’ ministry begins with the call of disciples, who then bring others to Jesus. Philip’s friend Nathanael moves from skepticism to faith when he accepts the invitation to “Come and see.”

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to Philip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked Jesus, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And Jesus said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son-of-Man.”

Thought for the Day

In these uncertain days ahead we may be wondering what can we do as disciples of Christ. One thing we surely can do is pray. Our bishop for the New England Synod, Bishop Jim Hazlewood has suggested the following practice for this week using several prayers as starters:

“I invite you to join me everyday for the coming week at 12 noon for a time of prayer for peace and calm in our nation.

Whether you choose to read/pray one of the prayers below, or simply pause for a moment of intention, silence, or meditation. It doesn’t matter. Just let us all enter into a moment where we ask the Peace and Calm prevail.”

a. A prayer for the nation
Holy Trinity, one God, you show us the splendor of diversity and the beauty of unity in your own divine life. Make us, who came from many nations with many languages, a united people that delights in our many different gifts. Defend our liberties, and give those whom we have entrusted with authority the spirit of wisdom, that there might be justice and peace in our land. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our sovereign and our Savior. Amen. (ELW, p. 77)

b. A prayer for responsible citizenship
Lord God, you call your people to honor those in authority. Help us elect trustworthy leaders, participate in wise decisions for our common life, and serve our neighbors in local communities. Bless the leaders of our land, that we may be at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (ELW, p. 77)

c. A prayer for conflict, crisis, or disaster
O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams; in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. (ELW, p. 76; ELW Prayer Book for the Armed Services, p. 30)

d. A prayer for bitterness or anger
Lord God, when we are assaulted by the troubles of life, and the deep waters of anger threaten to overwhelm us, do not let us sink. In your great compassion, hear us and help us. Deliver us from anger's power over us. Lead us out of bitter silence and hurtful words so that we may speak the truth in love. Heal every heart set on vengeance, and show us the way to honesty and reconciliation; through the one who has shown us both impassioned zeal and forgiving love, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (ELW Prayer Book for the Armed Service, p. 29)

I hope, dear Calumet Nation, you will join the Bishop and others in daily prayer this week. You may use the suggested prayers from above, any Psalm, a hymn text, the Lord’s Prayer, prayers from various litanies and services in our worship books, the prayer for the day posted daily on our Calumet Facebook page and website, or a prayer of your own. You may prayer alone, silently, or aloud…you may pray with your colleagues, your friends, your neighbors or your family. Let prayer cover our world, our nation, our cities, and our communities. Let these prayers bring peace and calm to all. Pray.

~Deacon Judy Hakanson Smith


Special Music
Let There Be Peace on Earth
Voices of Hope Children’s Choir

Boston Children’s Chorus

Prayers of Intercession

As this week we observe the Week of Prayer for Christian unity, commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr., and inaugurate the new President of the United States, let us offer our laments and petitions to God.

O God, we lament the times when our churches have rejected collaboration with your worldwide family of grace — a brief silence — and we pray for your blessing on the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Protestants, evangelicals, and independents, that all your people will follow your call to discipleship and grow deeper into our unity in Christ.
O God, Shepherd of your people, hear our cries;
In mercy, receive our prayers.

We lament the ways that we and our society have misused your earth with selfish or short-sighted actions — a brief silence — and we pray for an increased commitment to the care of your marvelous creation.
O God, Gardener of the globe, hear our cries;
In mercy, receive our prayers.

We lament the occasions when our government has neglected the needs of the people of America and the calls for international cooperation — a brief silence — and we pray for President-elect Biden, for Vice President-elect Harris, and for all our elected members of Congress, that they fulfill their obligations to uphold and extend the common good.
O God, Shield of the commonwealth, hear our cries;
In mercy, receive our prayers.

We lament the uncontrolled rage and the senseless violence that recently defaced our nation — a brief silence — and we pray that peace reign in our streets, that our capital cities be safe, that all citizens come to accept the new administration, and that a spirit of reconciliation and cooperation mark the next stage of our national life.
O God, Peacemaker in our land, hear our cries;
In mercy, receive our prayers.

We lament the decades of ethnic injustices and racial prejudice that brought such suffering to many residents of our country — a brief silence — and we pray that you bless the Indigenous peoples, descendants of Africans, and all immigrants to this land, and that you form us into a nation in which all are honored in equal measure.
O God, Liberator of the oppressed, hear our cries;
In mercy, receive our prayers.

We lament the unspeakable sadness that has been unleashed by the coronavirus here and around the world — a brief silence — and we pray that you bring health to the sick, comfort to the dying, resilience to health workers, prompt vaccinations to everyone, and a lasting end to this scourge.
O God, Physician and Nurse, hear our cries;
In mercy, receive our prayers.

We lament also our private sorrows and our hidden fears,
and we pray that you speak to us in the night of our need.
A longer period of silence.
O God, Lover of our souls, hear our cries;
In mercy, receive our prayers.

We lament the lives of those who have died, in storms, in riots, and in sickbeds. We praise you especially for the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and those we name here before you. . . . — a brief silence — and we pray that at the end, we join with all the members of your family in your presence.
O God, eternal Arms of Mercy, hear our cries;
In mercy, receive our prayers.

Into your hands, O loving God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

Blessing

God the creator strengthen you;
Jesus the beloved fill you;
and the Holy Spirit the comforter
keep you in peace.
Amen.

Sending Song for Epiphany
This Little Light of Mine

Emanuel Lutheran Church, Hartford, CT
African American Spiritual

Dismissal

Go in peace.
Be the light of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

Sources:

Introduction, NRSV scripture readings and liturgy except greeting from www.sundaysandseasons.com, Annual License #SAS006505

Greeting from Sundays and Seasons, Year B, 2009 paper edition, Sundays & Seasons, © 2008, Augsburg Fortress. Annual License #SAS006505

Thought for the Day: Bishop’s Call to Daily Prayer https://www.facebook.com/nesynod

Prayers of Intercession from “ELCA Worship in the Home Blog” https://blogs.elca.org/worship/3253/

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